Jail for passing on sexually transmitted diseases
The Crown Prosecution Service is to target people who knowingly pass on STDs, with some being sent to prison.
The new approach is due to be announced by Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald soon, reports The Evening Standard.
Sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust has expressed concern about the new reported policy.
Around ten people have already been convicted of recklessly passing on the HIV virus.
The new plans would see convictions for passing on herpes, syphilis or other diseases without first informing a sexual partner of your condition, according to Evening Standard.
Lisa Power, Head of Policy at THT, told PinkNews.co.uk, “we are one of several agencies who have been working with CPS to try and get the messy current situation clarified.
“We are strongly opposed to prosecutions for reckless transmissions and we are very concerned about the random and arbitrary way in which prosecutions seem to be taking place.”
The new plans would make use of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which outlaws the reckless passing on of a sexual disease.
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THT are concerned that the current prosecutions policy is restigmatising HIV “at a rate of knots.”
“We have no objection to prosecution where someone uses HIV as a weapon.
“But there is a general consensus in sexual health sector that current prosecutions are a bad idea,” explained Ms Power.
THT are also worried that the threat of prosecutions might make drive vulnerable people away from seeking medical advice.
“If people cannot trust that they can confide in their doctor, they may become reluctant to discuss difficulties with safe sex.
“We have to be able to support people who aren’t managing to use condoms, to work with people and not drive them under.”